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Old 10-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #1301
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

SimonAce I think you're stretching to make a science miracle seem improbable. Given the effectiveness of the fusion posited by Astromancer, it's probably He3 fusion, or maybe something weird like Deuterium-Li6.

These all have in common very high input energy levels, but a single change could make this all much easier. Perhaps an ultra-high-temperature superconductor is invented -- one that can be produced in reasonable quantities fairly cheaply. Perhaps 500 times the cost of copper wiring.

Depending on the operating limits of that material, it could increase the strength of needed magnetic fields a hundred times or so, making even weirder fusion types both possible and cheap. Or maybe a neural network comes up with a completely unexpected shape for a fusion bottle that allows similarly high magnetic flux using conventional materials.

In either case, old economic models no longer apply. Pumping out fusors would be a hyper-profitable business, and they could iterate at the speed cell phones did in the first decade of the millennium.

Of course, the knock-on effects of the exact scientific miracle would vary. Superconductors that work at plasma temperatures would be useful for a lot of other things, as would neural networks able to handle magnetohydrodynamics better than humans. But they would also probably be less obvious than free omnipresent power.
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:52 PM   #1302
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Try this one...

Aliens arrive in the 2020's. The have anesthesia projectors. How they work is unknown, but the render humans fairly helpless quickly. The Aliens tell the planet's governments that Earth's solar system is going to be a ritual battle space for aliens from a different physical reality. So they, the Aliens speaking to the Earth governments are taking humanity to other planets.

A few months later the PCs, who can come from anywhere on Earth, are on a fairly pleasant world that you're told by local scientists can't be in Earth's galaxy. The planet has a population of around 75 million. Most of this population is drawn from Western European Union and the Americas (about 50 million), Another twenty million is randomly drawn from the rest of the planet. The remaining five million say they are descended from Earth-folk taken by the aliens in the past. These Earth-folk helped in terraformation and the building of infrastructure.

The people descended from captives were only let free when the other Earth-folk were taken off planet and brought out into space. They haven't explored their own world because they weren't allowed to.

The planet has Earth lifeforms on it, both modern and from the deep past. There may even be other groups of humans. The Tech Level is late TL8 with TL9 prototypes, however as industry is still trying to get started and the population is extremely low, getting equipment could be a challenge in itself.

Some of the Off-Earth humans have psi-powers and are willing to teach Earth humans. Training in Psi allows you to pick up (buy with experience points) Psionic Powers, Talent, Skills, and Perks, and modify these.

There is a strange new world to explore, a civilization to build, and the rest of mankind to seek out and reconnect too (this last will take longer) what do you do?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:41 PM   #1303
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

By the way, I'd meant to say the European Union. The "Western" was before a revision. Of the fifty million taken from the European Union and the Americas, assume that the proportions are in line with the present day populations of those countries. So if you have X number of Irish people from the Republic of Ireland, you'll have 100X US citizens and 20X British subjects ( with about as many Welsh folk as Irish).
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:25 PM   #1304
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Try this one...

Due to the use of a bazaar precursor artifact, the Solar System of 2020 is overwritten onto a star system of near equal mass, the mass difference reducing the artifact to a boiling puddle of exotic material. A fairly benign, by their own lights, group of Parahumans visits the now deeply confused Earth and explains why they now find themselves halfway across the galaxy.

The Parahuman society (they're made up of several different Parahuman types, steal freely from Transhuman Space) moves into Earth's system. After giving a fairly honest and reasonably accurate description of Galactic politics and Earth's present predicament, they offer Earth's democracies a chance to up-grade their technologies and teaching systems, a chance to develop the resources of the Solar System, and to be something other than sitting ducks.

Yes, another attempt by me to allow you folks to play yourselves in an interstellar adventure. But their is more than that.

Non-democratic societies will cry foul. Some, like Iran, Turkey, maybe even China and Russia, will insist that they are democracies, or that several nations the Parahumans see as democracies are not democracies and never could be. Others will simply make the biggest nuisances of themselves they can. Either way you have intrigue and espionage.

Around the world, the changed circumstances, especially the economic transformations wrought by the new technology (as written TL12^, but your game your rules), will create resistance. One can see conspiracy buffs, Jihadists, Neo-Nazis, and others resorting to violence to stop the changes.

Also, the Parahumans will offer "up-grades." Allowing people to become Parahumans of several different types. Technophobic groups will go through the roof.

So the possibilities for adventure both on and off Earth are fairly good. Can you build the Federation? Or will your failure create a new First Order?
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:13 PM   #1305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Western European Union
I didn't know Western Union had that many employees.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:16 PM   #1306
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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Try this one...

Aliens arrive in the 2020's. The have anesthesia projectors. How they work is unknown, but the render humans fairly helpless quickly. The Aliens tell the planet's governments that Earth's solar system is going to be a ritual battle space for aliens from a different physical reality. So they, the Aliens speaking to the Earth governments are taking humanity to other planets.

A few months later the PCs, who can come from anywhere on Earth, are on a fairly pleasant world that you're told by local scientists can't be in Earth's galaxy. The planet has a population of around 75 million. Most of this population is drawn from Western European Union and the Americas (about 50 million), Another twenty million is randomly drawn from the rest of the planet. The remaining five million say they are descended from Earth-folk taken by the aliens in the past. These Earth-folk helped in terraformation and the building of infrastructure.

The people descended from captives were only let free when the other Earth-folk were taken off planet and brought out into space. They haven't explored their own world because they weren't allowed to.

The planet has Earth lifeforms on it, both modern and from the deep past. There may even be other groups of humans. The Tech Level is late TL8 with TL9 prototypes, however as industry is still trying to get started and the population is extremely low, getting equipment could be a challenge in itself.

Some of the Off-Earth humans have psi-powers and are willing to teach Earth humans. Training in Psi allows you to pick up (buy with experience points) Psionic Powers, Talent, Skills, and Perks, and modify these.

There is a strange new world to explore, a civilization to build, and the rest of mankind to seek out and reconnect too (this last will take longer) what do you do?
That's quite amusing, it's almost a fantasy setting if you have strong PSI powers and/or other alien races there

On a more personal note, my own fantasy world has a somewhat similar origin though with more dimensions, magic and cthulhu like entities. Great Minds I guess.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:40 PM   #1307
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In 2030, NASA astronauts investigating a gravity-wave anomaly on the surface of the moon encounter an approximately 100-km-wide ring of conductive material embedded the walls of Langrenus crater. By coincidence, accident, or design, the buried device activates as they investigate it, opening a stable wormhole to the YBP 1194 star system 2,700 ly away. There, an earthlike planet is inhabited by solidly TL9 humans transplanted there by ancient aliens about 10,000 years ago.

Their planet, "Lethra Koas," is marginally habitable. Only a few small seas persist, and the atmosphere is thin. The weather swings between scorching and frigid, some places with arctic winters and Saharan summers. It is largely arid, marked by twice-annual flood seasons. A few mid-latitude regions have lakes and grasslands, even woodland, but they still have frequent extremes of temperatures. Some days, sulfur-rich dust is whipped up from the wide equatorial desert belt, and until a few centuries ago the only defense was wet rags and sheltered caves. People dreamed of a prophesied "perfect place" where life flourished, but they lived in rocky wastelands.

This harsh environment enabled only tightly bonded communities to survive. Xenophobia was the norm. Nonetheless, some traders traveled the waste, bringing goods and knowledge from settlement to settlement, as nearly nowhere could all necessary resources be found in the same place. Between commoners, the leaders, and the traders, a caste system slowly emerged, occasionally changing as new professions came into being.

An age of warring city-states emerged over most of the world, lasting for thousands of years. Wars were brutal affairs, with entire civilian populations exterminated in order to make space for new inhabitants. Alliances and nations tended to break down when they grew too large for communication technology to keep them united, and only the need to develop new tools to survive drove technology. This changed after TL6 made survival somewhat easier and farming more productive. The following population growth lead to an explosion of new philosophies, including a new movement for unification, overriding the ancient xenophobia. Slowly, isolationist, independent, and individualist factions came to be seen as selfish or dangerous. Unlike collectivist philosophies of Earth, this belief system never concerned itself with the quality of life of individuals, only the preservation of human existence against the harsh world, and the preservation of the caste system against revolution.

The strict limitations of the castes in turn lead to a gradual overpopulation of the leadership caste, as they benefited the most from the increased material wealth of the TL6/TL7 transition. These excess leaders were left to pursue philosophy and, eventually, science. This slowly lead the way through the next two TLs over centuries. There were civil wars and ineffectual revolutions, but the general story remained much the same for 300 years.

For the past 120 years, the population has been fluctuating at around 5.4 billion people, 5 billion of them united under one government. In bad years, millions starve due to shortfalls. Lethra Koas is past carrying capacity, and was nearing a civil war unlike that seen in an era. The development of advanced warfare technology made for an even more complicated situation, as nuclear explosives, though never used, promised to make regions even harder to survive in.

Then, a spark of light and radio waves appeared on the planet's tiny, asteroidal moon. A portal 100 km wide connecting to a planet full of human life! And environments entirely safe year-round! Cities like unto entire regions! All this was discovered in just the first hours of research by noble-born explorers at their own lunar research base.

And, to the growing horror of the Lethrani, these humans could not collaborate, and had already permanently harmed this promised paradise. While the population of this "Earth" was nearly double their own, they began to consider the possibility of going to war (carefully, so as to not harm the ecosystem,) and to make Earth their own. The potential alone has quieted internal strife (few people want to be at the back of the line when parcels of Earth are being given out to loyalists) and lead to new heights of propaganda for the largely uninformed masses.

This is the setup for the closet thing to a hard-science Earth invasion story I can come up with. Lethrani stormtroopers will give and take no quarter. Their technology is superior, though comparable to Earth's. And they have a larger population than any one Earth nation, though perhaps their conscripts have poorer tactics. Due to their nigh-uninhabitable homeworld, they have a serious advantage in invading Earth through uninhabitable space, while Earthlings landing on their world are practically doomed. And they absolutely refuse to drop rocks or nukes, as that would not only destroy the point of the invasion, but would likely cause terrible backlash from enraged inferiors cheated out of a perfect world.

Earth could repel them, but doing so would require international collaboration unlike that seen since WWII. Or, since this is the GURPs forum, the establishment of the Bretton Woods System. And, even a united Earth would not effortlessly push them back. If need be, the GM may choose to give them a small amount of superscience tech left behind by the aliens who brought them there, but that's not really the point. The focus here is on WWII with the modern world on one side, and a space-based enemy that is familiar yet alien.

Last edited by PTTG; 10-22-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:44 PM   #1308
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

You would likely need some sort of defensive system for the gate, I find it exceedingly unlikely that Earth's nuclear armed powers will not all try to nuke the gate. Even just strapping an ion drive to an asteroid would likely be tried, it may take awhile, but so would moving a few billion people through the gate.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:39 PM   #1309
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

The gate is 100km wide. Nukes (and other defenses) are not really adequate at those ranges in space.

Plus, the Lethrani are not na´ve of diplomacy. They deal with the two smaller enclaves and a number of independent states, and realize that being too hasty would only ruin this chance and lead to destruction. So, they are trying to establish space control through diplomatic means.

Finally, when it comes to a shooting war, their TL advantage (they are a mature TL9 in fields the GM feels are relevant) comes into play. Taken together, we can assume they have significant defenses on the Earth side of the gate (said gate survived at least 10,000 years of disuse on the lunar surface, so it's probably pretty tough), when the war starts. The plucky heroes might need to cross the lunar terrain in buggies and on foot to disable these!

No doubt some factions would attempt to modify existing nuclear missiles to have the delta-v to reach the moon and back, but that would take a lot of time and work on its own.

It should be noted that their technology is a bit backwards in two fields: medicine and computing. Their medicine is actually early TL-8 at best, due to a general fatalism. The computing tech is incompatible with Earth tech, but not much more powerful, despite the generally higher tech of Lethra Koas. This is probably due to less focus on consumer electronics to drive costs down.

Last edited by PTTG; 10-22-2019 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:08 PM   #1310
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You would likely need some sort of defensive system for the gate, I find it exceedingly unlikely that Earth's nuclear armed powers will not all try to nuke the gate. Even just strapping an ion drive to an asteroid would likely be tried, it may take awhile, but so would moving a few billion people through the gate.
Dropping a nuke on the gate was my first idea too.
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